The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Friday, 5 May 2017

You've come a long way baby!

Sometimes you have to stop and think about how far you've come.  

On Monday I fly to Barcelona.  There was a time when a trip like this - along with the excitement of going somewhere new - would bring with it a slow and steady fear.  It would creep in from about a week before the event and build to a crescendo of a full blown panic attack when I had to get on the plane.


Yep I was deathly afraid of flying.  For years my first thought whenever I booked a trip would be yay holiday closely followed by if I get there!  I used to call family members and tell them I love them (not something I'm known to do on the phone) in case it was the last chance I had to speak with them.  I once spent the complete flight crying, set off by the fact that I could see both the front and the back of the plane without moving my head.  I whimpered the whole way there whilst my husband - who was then only my boyfriend, Lord knows why he stuck around! - tried to calm me down and a 3 year old girl watched me with a look like this.

She was basically saying 'the fuck is this chick's problem?!*  with her eyes
It affected my health (physical and mental) and my relationships, and while I'm not going to pretend I love flying I am now much more in control of how I feel.  Here's how I did it.

Education: Knowledge is power! Never was this more true for me than when I started reading about how a plane works, the engineering and physics of the whole thing. Anything to pull on when the noises started. 

Preparation: Packing early, lists, whatever you can do to not be in a flap helps when you know a flight is coming. Also if you have the means I highly recommend spending the night before at the airport. Relaxing with a glass of wine whilst watching all the planes taking off and not exploding was immensely comforting.


Drinking: Obviously this one is personal and not advice per se. I found a glass of wine or champagne before the flight helped get me in the mood for the holiday and focus on the fun that would be had after the flight (just the one mind!). That said I wouldn't have a coffee or caffeinated drink, the jitters would just compound any nerves I felt. 


Meditation: This one has been bloody amazing! Before I fly I download a bunch of podcast meditations to listen to as I take off and if there is any turbulence.  Concentrating on these instead of every little creak of the plane has done wonders for controlling my mindset.

Perspective: The thoughts I had of hurtling to the ground in a fiery ball of metal and screaming humans still come up on occasion but I've learnt not to pull on that particular thread.  I treat these thoughts like clouds in a summer sky, watch them in my minds eye as they float away and then turn my attention to anything else that might make its way into my brain.  The meditation has most definitely helped me learn this trick.

Positivity: Finally - and this is where this post comes in - I think about how far I've come.  How small city breaks aren't book-ended with panic and high blood pressure as they once were.  I wont pretend I don't still get nervous if there is any turbulence or unusual air activity but I know I get a little better every time I get on a plane.  And I know that without them I'd never have seen Budapest, never have got to Canada for my honeymoon, never discovered my love of ski-ing, and wouldn't be planning a blog post next week on the wonders of Barcelona.  So a little self congratulations is most definitely in order.

Have you managed to master any personal fears? 

How did you do it?

* Not this actual kid, this is a kid from Gify

All images found via Google Advanced Search with 'free to use, share or modify even commercially' in the usage rights
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6 comments

Gemma said...

I'm so proud, you're doing so well!

Blog A Book Etc said...

I friggin LOVE flying the best parts are take off and landing but I totally understand the way you feel as my dad used to always be PETRIFIED of flying and always vowed after each holiday that he was NEVER going abroad again!

The solution once I was old enough - champagne bar for Champs and Oysters worked every time! Like you said getting in the holiday mood helped!

Personally I am petrified of snakes and spiders, that I'm afraid is unlikely to change!

Alice Toby-Brant said...

Luckily Snakes and spiders don't hang out at airports all that much so they don't stop you travelling ;) Oddly I quite like snakes! Love they we're all different.

Alice Toby-Brant said...

Thanks! I'll take that as a go ahead for more champagne then. ;)

Georgia Weedon said...

A huge congratulations is in order for coming so far! Flying can be such a huge fear for some people to overcome, but it definitely takes time. It is definitely ok to still get nervous but I think you have some great tips on how to help reduce it. I think putting on a meditation podcast is a brilliant idea x

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Alice Toby-Brant said...

Thank you! No matter how well I think I'm doing its always nice to hear other people think so as well!

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